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Dead & Company Honor Late NBA Legend Bill Walton During Las Vegas Sphere Show

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Beyond his illustrious career as an NBA legend and sportscaster, Bill Walton was a massive Deadhead. The 6′ 11″ center died on Monday (May 27) at age 71 following a battle with cancer, and the surviving members of the Grateful Dead paid tribute to their biggest fan during Dead & Company’s residency show at Las Vegas’ Sphere on Thursday (May 30).

During their performance of 1978’s “Fire on the Mountain,” the screen of the Sphere showed a montage of photos of Walton hanging out with the band, wearing the merch and more. The tribute also featured a stunning display of Walton’s jersey number, 32, adorned in tie dye and roses.

See the photos via Dead & Company’s Instagram here.

Earlier this week, following the news of Walton’s death, the band paid tribute to the late athlete in an Instagram post on the Dead & Company feed, saying, “Fare you well, fare you well, we love you more than words can tell. Bill was an irreplaceable force and spirit in our family. Father Time, Rhythm Devil, biggest deadhead ever. Over 1000 shows and couldn’t get enough. He loved this band and we loved him.”

The post continued, “We will miss our beloved friend, @BillWalton, deeply. Rest in peace and may the four winds blow you safely home. 🌹💀⚡️.” The post included several pics of Walton in tie dye outfits at Dead shows over the years, including times he’s worn elaborate, colorful costumes — most notably a “Father Time” outfit for Dead shows on New Year’s Eve.

Rania Aniftos
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